Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, arguably the most corrupt member of the Trump administration outside of the Trump family, is going after Medicare and the Affordable Care Act and government all in one fell swoop. He’s doing it for his fellow physicians, he says, which is probably true. But there’s no doubt that his toxic anti-government, anti-Medicare ideology is at work here.
It was, on its surface, another of the health secretary’s many meetings with “victims” of Obamacare — this time with some of the conservative physicians who felt the law was hurting their patients and their own bottom lines. An official readout from Price’s staff trumpeted the eight participating physicians as “witnesses” to Obamacare’s failings.
But that wasn’t Price’s only message to the doctors, according to two participants in the meeting. The health secretary also signaled he would protect the doctors from a raft of
that were put in motion by the Obama administration. And although Price, a former orthopedic surgeon, didn’t address specific regulations, he made clear he was listening to the physicians’ complaints about issues like Medicare payment rules and burdensome electronic health record requirements.
“He took it to heart and said, ‘Let’s see where we can get some regulatory relief for these guys, especially the small and rural practices that really need it, so we don’t lose them too,’” said Dr. John Gill, a solo-practice orthopedic surgeon who attended the Dallas meeting. “He was mostly on a listening tour, but he certainly did offer to help.”
Quietly, away from the spotlight cast on his effort to dismantle Obamacare, Price has been rolling back regulations that have been criticized by his former physician colleagues. And, unlike with the ACA, he has been able to do so without the blessing of Congress.